It'll be another two years or so before the general public will be invited to gaze upon the unparalleled panoramas of New York City from the observation deck at One World Trade Center, but today, a lucky few got to be the first to visit the quarter-mile-high "room with a view" known as One World Observatory.

Though the actual observation will take place on the 100th, 101st, and 102nd floors, the "attraction" will actually start way down at the bottom, where visitors will walk along a meandering path guided by an audio-visual tour of the building's history.

They will then take a short yet memorable trip to the 102nd floor aboard an elevator capable of traveling 1,250 feet in 60 seconds.

At the end of their ride they will disembarked to encounter yet another "pre-show" called "See Forever," which will conclude with the raising of a curtain to reveal stunning 360-degree views of New York City.

All told, the tour, which operator Legends Hospitality LLC said it plans to package "like a theme-park ride," is expected to last over an hour. No word yet on how much it will cost, but officials expect the price to be comparable to other observation deck tours in the city.

Upon its completion later this year, One World Trade Center will be 104 stories tall and span 1,776 feet from ground to spire-top, making it the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere.

[top photo via Gary He, bottom photos via AP]